review Archive

Album Review: Swingadelic — Bluesville

The point at which big band vocal jazz and r&b meets is one I enjoy exploring. And so, too, does the aggregation known as Swingadelic. On the New York City swing orchestra’s latest release, a wide net is cast, drawing from Willie Dixon, Mose Allison, Ray Charles, Doc Pomus, Duke Ellington and others, casting their

Album Review: Mrs. Fun — Truth

I tend to look with skepticism at guitar-drum duos; for me, it’s been done to death, and few did it with as much creative success as Flat Duo Jets. But when it comes to keyboard-drum duos, I’m prepared to allow a bit more latitude, because the sonic possibilities of keys are more varied and expansive.

EP Review: Local Nomad — s/t

I nearly gave this one a miss, based on the cover art alone. The cover graphic immediately made me think that I held in my hand a new release from Insane Clown Posse, to which I would have promptly said, “No thanks.” Somehow, and against my better instincts, I decided to put the CD in

Album Review: Open Sound — s/t

Fernando Perdomo is everywhere (including the virtual pages of this music magazine). Equally comfortable in (and skilled at) progressive rock and powerpop, he’s a utility man to the stars since his relocation to Los Angeles. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter. I hesitate to call Open Sound his latest project, because it’s highly likely that

Album Review: The 81’s — 2 Things & 118 Others

The 81’s (that’s their punctuation, not mine) make a Crazy Horse-styled, shaggy rock that bears the influence of folk (in the lyrical approach) and punk (in the guitar textures). Music without artifice, 2 Things & 119 Others is sold rock with lots of impassioned (but not overwrought) guitar solos. The songs are more than mere

Album Review: Cupid’s Carnival — Color-blind

When it comes to certain substrains of powerpop (itself a subgenre), being derivative is a feature, not a bug. Do you sound like the Beatles, Badfinger, Raspberries? Success! And quote honestly, although the powerpop market is comparatively small, there’s a cottage industry for this kind of thing. So while the whole idea might put off

Album Review: Coke Belda — 4

If Peter Noone was American, his singing voice might be all but indistinguishable from that of Coke Belda. And the music that Herman’s Hermits made isn’t miles away from the chiming, la-la-la of Belda’s original tunes. On his fourth album — cleverly titled 4 – Belda steps away from the tribute approach of his last

Album Review: Diamond Hands — III

Fans of hooks and high-energy, melodic rock should stop whatever they’re doing and make immediate purchase of this LP. Diamond Hands’ III is influenced by mid-period Beatles, but it also sounds a bit like Orgone Box crossed with Grip Weeds. Yes, there are derivative elements here and there: you’ve heard that “Tomorrow Can Wait” bass

Album Review: The Limits – Songs About Girls

Reunions are a common occurrence in rock music. 1960s garage rock band The Limits never achieved any notability outside their hometown, but a new group bearing that name came out in ‘79. With a sound that drew from garage rock, pub rock, new wave and hard rock, the new band wouldn’t really have much musical

Album Review: The Limits – Garage Nuggets ‘65-’68

It’s nice when an important figure in music says nice things about your music. Even if that person is something of a cult figure like Alex Chilton, it counts. And apparently Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star) thought highly of the music made by an Allentown, Pennsylvania garage rock band called The Limits. Like so many